In the bleak midwinter, frost wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.
I don't usually make postings like this; but this is very powerful to me and I thought I needed to share it with you...
Choral version of Agnus Dei sung to the theme of Samuel Barbers Adagio for strings.Performed by The Choir of Trinity College,Cambridge,UK.Directed by Richard Marlow.
The arrest came after an initial warning by Manchester Police at the end of July. Miguel Hayworth was approached by Police Officers in St Anne's square, Manchester, where he was threatened with an arrest and a warning that reading portions of scripture in public could be classed as an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.
The Police issued the warning when they received a complaint about his conduct being offensive and inciting racial and religious hatred.
Onn Sein Kon, Mr Hayworth's case worker from the Christian Legal Centre said: "The police did not pursue this line when they issued the warning, so an investigation is being made into the nature of the offence."
Mr Miguel read from Romans 1 to 6, which deals with sexual orientation. Mr Kon said this case is similar to that of Pastor Harry Hammond, who held anti-homosexuality placards in Bournemouth Square whilst reciting from the book of Revelation, and was later issued with a public order offence.
Mr Hayworth was arrested on Monday morning for preaching from the same part of the Bible. "Romans 1 to 6 is his normal modus operandi,” said Mr Kon, "but under the Human Rights Act, why should this be an offence at all?"
Andy Banton, General Secretary of the Open Air Mission, said: "We got legal advice on this two years ago so preachers know their responsibilities before the law and their rights and as far as that is concerned, we're free to preach the Christian message. The difficulty is that the legislation is very grey and open to interpretation, which invites mischief-makers.
“In the past, people have run with false accusations against street preachers because of disagreements with what they have to say. For some, the Bible is incompatible with their modern lifestyle. A person who goes into a court of law swears an oath on the Bible, so for people to be arrested for quoting it seems ludicrous.”
In an extract from a letter stipulating the rights of Preachers, Ormerods Solicitors note that freedom of speech "includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative, provided it does not tend to provoke violence.
“Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having."
Mr Banton added: "So few people are attending church, under 10 per cent a week, so 90 per cent aren't hearing the most important message in the world. We're braving the fear and going into the public place."
The British woman Fiorella Nash owes the release of her father from prison in Malta in the 1970s to Amnesty International.
For Nash, supporting the organization over the years was a given, but recently she decided to suspend her support because of group's pro-abortion agenda.
According to the website Religion Confidencial, “Fiorella Nash owes her father’s life to Amnesty International. For many years she worked with the NGO until she became aware of its pro-abortion slant.”
Since its founding by Catholic British lawyer Peter Benenson, Amnesty has been one of the human rights groups that was most supported by Catholic and Protestant believers in the United Kingdom.
When August 2007 rolled around, Amnesty raised the ire of some of its strongest supporters by revealing its intention to campaign for access to abortion.
The decision to move from not having a position on abortion to campaigning for it led bishops and lay people around the world to withdraw their membership from the organization, calling the abortion agenda a betrayal of the group's founding principles.
“Amnesty has focused its most recent campaign on the government of Nicaragua, accusing it of being responsible for the deaths of pregnant adult and teen women because of its laws against abortion,” the website reported.
According to Nash, who works at the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, she cannot support Amnesty because of its pro-abortion agenda. “Its conferences on the issue only include pro-abortion speakers, there is no open debate on the issue,” she said.
Nash was pregnant when Amnesty publicly revealed its pro-abortion slant. “I was pregnant with my first son and I thought, ‘When my father was in a defenseless situation I helped him. What am I doing now to help the equally defenseless unborn?’”
Here is the direct link: YouTube.com
Socionomics postulates that social mood drives financial, macroeconomic and political behavior, in contrast to the conventional notion that such events drive the social mood. The counter-intuitive premise of the socionomic hypothesis—that in contexts of uncertainty, endogenous processes (not exogenous causes) create patterns of social behavior—has gained attention in academic journals, books, the popular press, at academic conferences and in research...
Proving once again that the best ideas are often the simplest, 21-year-old student/inventor/entrepreneur Emily Cummins has designed a brilliant portable solar-powered refrigerator that works based upon the principle of evaporation. Employing a combination of conduction and convection, the refrigerator requires no electricity and can be made from commonly available materials like cardboard, sand, and recycled metal.
Emily has been inventing from an early age - she received her first hammer at the tender age of four from her grandfather who was an engineer, and she soon set to work making toys and rabbit hutches. At 16 Emily won a regional Young Engineer for Britain Award for creating a toothpaste squeezer for people with arthritis, and the next year went on to win a Sustainable Design Award for a water-carrier made from wood and rubber tubing. In 2007 Emily was named the British Female Innovator of the Year, and last year was short-listed for Cosmopolitan’s 2008 Ultimate Women of the Year Competition.
“I do want to use my skills to make a difference,” Emily says. “I’m not interested in making a bigger TV or greater sound system. I want to create change for the better.” Well said. We know we’ll hear much more from Emily in the future.
(note: although this technology is not new it is exciting to see it's sucessfull implementation... see also the Pot-in-Pot Refigerator)
The Apostolic Bible Polyglot is to the Internet what the Gutenberg Bible was to printing.
The first Council of Nicea convened in Nicaea in Bithynia (present-day İznik in Turkey) by the Roman Emperor Constantine I on May the 20th, 1684 years ago...
Consecrated Phrases: A Latin Theological Dictionary : Latin Expressions Commonly Found in Theological Writings
Google Books is offering a limited preview of "Consecrated Phrases: A Latin Theological Dictionary : Latin Expressions Commonly Found in Theological Writings" by James T. Bretzke or more commonly know as 'Dictionary of Theological Latin'. They (google books) offer the first 49 pages or A-G on their site; great read for the cerebral minds or nerds alike...
This Saturday, the second session of the "Life in the Spirit" course, instead of the planned discussion of Pentecostal and Charismatic theology, during first two hours of our class, Lorraine instructed us regarding Orthodox spirituality. It was very informative and detailed. I'm sure she did not intend to run so long but by the time we had our first break it was already time for lunch... Awesome!
Here are some of the highlights...
Theology is steeped into the lives of all those in the Orthodox faith from the time they are born. Babies are not flawed, but one day they will indeed die, thru Baptism the child enters into death and then enters into it's new life with Christ, the child is given a new family (the Body of believers) and it is given a vocation.
Through fasting we are reminded that God sustains us not food. As humans we are controlled by our passions, our bodily means dominate our lives, thru fasting Christ helps us to be holy so that the Holy Spirit may work greater in our lives, for without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14) Fasting isn't a contest.
The 5 annual Fasts are:
(some start 2 weeks prior to Great Lent in the tradition of the monastics)
Holy Week Fast
Fast of the Apostles
Fast of the Dormition of the Theotokos
Fast of the Nativity
In Bible study God is speaking to us Jesus Himself is the Divine Word, we must listen with obediance and our studies should be Christ centered -looking for Christ on every page- Bible study is Christ speaking to me and I respond, as the "stories" of the the Bible include me. In prayer we enter our "inner room" (the heart) and by faith pray to God with intention, with tears, repentance and denial. Prayer should be a regular time, a special place and the hardest part -just get started-
The Jesus Prayer
"Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ, Υιέ του Θεού, ελέησόν με τον αμαρτωλόν."
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Most High God, Have Mercy on me a sinner"
The Jesus Prayer is one of the most profound and mystical prayers and it is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice. The goal of the disciplines is to share in the transfiguration of Christ so that we may see Christ just as the Apostles did
We were also treated by Cn. Thelogian Fr. Glenn Davis presentation of his address for the CEC Theological Summit to be held next week in Orlando, Florida.
Question to be answered for next session:
-What is the difference between personal prophecy and divination?-
Our relation with the Christ as He is in all His members is not direct, but mediate, through the Holy Spirit who fills His manhood. And every attempt to over-emphasize the dwelling of Christas man within us is mistaken. He is not in us that we may perceive His manhood as it is His own; but that we may apprehend it as the temple and treasure-house in which the Spirit takes what is His to give to us, as the Spirit's instrument of ministry, as God's own means of dwelling in us.
That this should prove to be the case is what any one might expect who meditates on the nature of humanity. It is conceivable that Christ's manhood is within me since God is in me, and where the Word is, there also is His manhood. It is not conceivable that His manhood is in me qua manhood; since qua manhood it is in heaven, at God's right hand.
This does not mean that intimate communion with Christ within us is not to be encouraged. Nor does it mean that He is not personally in us. Nor does it conflict with the doctrine that Christ comes to us in communion, sacramentally, and abides in us independently of the sacramental elements. It does, however, mean that His presence within us is not primarily for this purpose of personal meeting in respect of His manhood. Primarily He is in us that the Blessed Trinity may be in us. S. Paul says, "Christ liveth in me." And the Christ says, "We will come unto him, and make our abode with him." Thus we "sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," and are, increasingly, being "filled with all the fulness of God."
The end and Institution of the Lord's Supper.
ST. PAUL concludes his first Epistle to the Corinthians with this remarkable direction; "If any man love not the Lord Jesus, let him be Anathema, Maranatha:" that is, Let him be separated from your communion, as one under the displeasure of God, and, without a timely repentance, in no possibility of being saved: nothing being more grievous in the sight of God, than for a sinner to slight the greatest instance of His mercy that was ever offered to man, as well as the only means of his salvation.
To prevent this, and to hinder sinners from forgetting (which they are but too apt to do) this token of God's infinite love, and to fix the love of Jesus Christ more surely in our hearts and memory, He Himself hath taken care, that His  love and mercy should throughout all generations be remembered: He did therefore ordain this Sacrament as a memorial of our redemption, and of His love for us, as a pledge to assure us of it, and as an outward means and sign of testifying, as well as increasing, our love to Him.
The holy Apostles of Christ, who were present when He first administered this Sacrament, give us the following account of its institution:
They signify to us in the first place, that this Sacrament was ordained by Christ the same night in which He was betrayed; and after they had observed the Passover, which had been ordained to preserve the memory of their great deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, and which did prefigure, and was a prophecy of a much greater deliverance, which Jesus Christ was to be the Author of, not only for them, but for all mankind: and which prophecy was surprisingly fulfilled by that people, without knowing what they were doing [d], when they crucified Jesus Christ, the true Paschal Lamb, the very same month, the very same day of the month, and the very same hour of the day, that the Paschal Lamb was first ordained to be sacrificed.
Now, after the Paschal Supper, as the Apostles relate it, "Jesus Christ took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, Take, eat: this is My Body, which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. He took also the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this is My Blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins: this do, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as oft as ye shall eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew forth the Lord's death till He come."
In obedience therefore to this command of Jesus Christ, who has delivered us from a much greater bondage then that of Egypt, the Christian Church keeps up the memory of His love, His sacrifice, and His sufferings, and death, after this solemn manner:
First, as an acknowledgement that our lives, and all that we eat or drink to preserve them, are owing to the bounty of God, we present upon His table, by the hands of His own  Minister, a portion of His creatures, the best we have for the support and comfort of our natural life, namely, bread and wine. After this the bread and wine are consecrated, the bread is broken, and the wine poured out, to represent the death of Christ, whose body was broken, and whose blood was shed for us.
The Minister of God, as the steward of Christ's household, applies these blessings to every person who receives this Sacrament, in this devout prayer; "The Body and Blood of Christ, which were given and shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life."
And we may be assured of it, that this Sacrament will be to every worthy communicant, what the tree of life would have been unto Adam and Eve in Paradise; and that as they, had they continued obedient, would have been in no danger of temporal death; even so we, while we feed on this bread, now endued with a life-giving Spirit, and live as we ought to do, are in no danger of death eternal.
These being pledges to assure us, that as certainly as bread and wine do nourish our bodies, so do these seal to us all the benefits which Jesus Christ hath purchased for us by His sacrifice and death.
And when any Christian does wilfully, and for want of faith, deprive himself of this spiritual food, he falls, as our first parents did, into a state purely natural, and destitute of the means of grave and salvation.
For the happiness of the world, and of every soul in it, depends upon the sacrifice of Christ; of which we are bound to keep up the remembrance after this solemn manner: That, whenever we pray for any favour or blessing, we may remember to do it in His name: That, whenever we are so unhappy as to have done any thing which may displease God, we may remember to pray to be forgiven for Christ's sake.
For God grants whatever we ask, and which He sees to be for our good, when we ask in faith, that is, in His Son's name; and therefore the Church concludes all her prayers in these most prevailing words; for Jesus Christ's sake.
In one word; we do by this Sacrament keep up a continual correspondence with our Lord in Heaven; and hold communion with Him, and with all the members of His  Body, which receive nourishment and growth from Him, as the branches of the tree in which they are grafted, and from which when they are separated, they can bear no fruit, and are only fit to be burned.
And as every Christian is obliged, at the peril of his soul, to observe it, so the duty must be such, as every one, even the most unlearned, may understand, if it be not his own fault. And so indeed it is: for as an Israelite, under the Law (Levit. i. 4), being obliged to lay his hand upon the head of his sacrifice, confessing his sins, and laying them, as it were, upon that creature,--as he did easily understand that this was to shew him that death was the due reward of sin; that this ought to humble him before God, and to give him the greatest abhorrence of sin, which could not be pardoned but by the loss of the life of an innocent creature:--
As this was plain to the meanest Israelite, even so the most unlearned Christian, when he considers that our Lord Jesus Christ became a sacrifice for us, and that on Him all our sins were laid,--on Him who knew no sin;--he will easily understand how sad our condition was, which required such a sacrifice: that this therefore ought to humble us, to lead us to repentance, to make us fearful of offending God, and to abhor those sins which cost Jesus Christ His life, before God could be prevailed with to pardon them.
He will also easily understand, that the love of Christ, and the remembrance of His death, ought to be very dear to us; and that the oftener we remember it in the manner He ordained, the more graces we shall receive from God, the firmer will be our faith, the surer our pardon, and the more comfortable our hopes of meeting Him, not as an enemy but as a friend, at whose table we have been so often entertained.
RECOMMENDED TEXTS (For your Library)
Unto Full Stature- Devern Fromke
Beginning Spiritual Direction- David E. Rosage
The Pursuit of God- A.W. Tozer
Bill Hamon’s books
Leanne Payne’s books
Eugene H. Peterson’s books
Our new president has just signed an executive order, rolling back a previous ban by Pres. G.W. Bush, to allow taxpayer dollars to be used to fund abortions abroad...